The boss of Fortnum & Mason has urged the government to scrap the tourist tax just days ahead of Wednesday’s autumn statement.
Chief executive of the London luxury brand, Tom Athron, said if the government waits until the Spring Budget, the UK risks losing sales to the French, the Daily Mail reported.
Athron warned: “Paris will be a very attractive proposition for visitors next year, as it hosts the Olympics.
“My view is that waiting until the budget in the spring to tackle the tourist tax would be too late because people are already thinking about their travel plans for next year.
“My plea to the government is to act now. We need to make sure Britain is as attractive as possible to visitors from overseas as it possibly can be.”
Athron is one of the many prominent retail experts backing the Mail’s ongoing campaign to scrap the controversial tourist tax, which was launched in April, including Marks & Spencer, Harrods, Burberry and Jimmy Choo.
Athron’s plea is part of an ongoing protest as a number of London’s most high-profile retailers and business owners took to the streets of luxury shopping district Savile Row earlier this month.
Research over the summer from the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) revealed that reinstating VAT-free shopping would boost the economy by £10bn.